Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 20 of 83 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some of you may know I will have had my Leaf (Evie!) 4 weeks on Saturday. Last Saturday I wanted to go and see a friend some miles away from me in Guildford. Her place is 36 miles from mine, according to the sat nav so I thought I'd be able to do it without charging. I was going to be stuck for time on arrival and no possibility of charging at hers because she only has on street parking. It was also going to be after midnight when I did the return journey.

I drove carefully, took the 'Eco' route on the planner and didn't have the heating on other than very short occasional bursts to keep the screen clear so I could see. No amount of having the windows open seemed to achieve this. I arrived with 50% left in my batteries and supposedly 47 miles. Bearing in mind that I'd done 36 careful miles to get there I was slightly worried by this but figured there would be a charger fairly close somewhere, so we went off to our do in her car and I decided to search for a charger on returning. BIG mistake. I drove to the first location thinking I'd get a quick blast to find that I couldn't access the charger. Then I didn't want to trust that there was a charger at the Little Chef at Ripley on the A3 because I'd been told by someone at Polar that most of them have been removed. Locally to me this has been true. I had no decent internet signal on my phone to load any of the apps and the car sat nav didn't have the new chargers at Chobham on the M25 listed so I wasn't sure how far away they were or in what direction.

End result was I crawled home through some nightmarishly nasty lanes at 30mph or less with no heating, wiping the screen to see and getting in the way of every other road user who came up behind me wondering why the hell I was out driving at that time of night if I was scared to go faster than 30. I knew full well that if I ran out of battery I had no mobile signal whatsoever to get help. It was cold, foggy and raining and I was on my own. I can honestly say I hated the car and the lack of infrastructure to support it at that point. I was still 16 miles out when the low battery warning light came on and by the time I arrived home (thankfully) I had 7 miles left in the 'tank' and only 4% charge. Not to mention I was stiff and sore from the absolute terror of being stuck miles from anywhere with no phone signal and dead car.

Clearly I should have planned for a backup charger but surely 72 miles in a brand new Gen 2 Leaf should be possible under those circumstances? I started with the Guessometer saying 95 so it's not like I'm driving like a bat out of hell or anything. I guess another question is where are the Guildford chargers? I've looked again since getting home and there really doesn't seem to be anything available between me near Worthing and my friend at Guildford :(

On the plus side though the car decided it had a range of 109 miles after a full charge the next morning! Yeah right!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,939 Posts
As above really. This does highlight a couple of the failings in the LEAF (and probably other EVs) that I really think need sorting.

First and foremost is the GOM (guess-ometer, the device so bad it's gained a name for it, literally). This needs to improve somehow or otherwise be altered in my opinion. It's not accurate or true, never can be.

More so though is the information accuracy and currency in the LEAF navigation with regards charge point data. It's not good enough and it's something people WILL and DO rely on. Third party solutions are fine if you have time, know about then, and a decent phone signal, but this is KEY to an EV, and particularly one with range like the LEAF has.

Glad you got home, sorry it was such a poor experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
I think a 72 mile trip given the conditions was a little optimistic. The cold will hammer the battery performance and the rain increases the drag when you're driving significantly. Coupled with the requirement to run the heater and the AC, I would have expected that to be a very difficult journey!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,736 Posts
As some of you may know I will have had my Leaf (Evie!) 4 weeks on Saturday. Last Saturday I wanted to go and see a friend some miles away from me in Guildford. Her place is 36 miles from mine, according to the sat nav so I thought I'd be able to do it without charging. I was going to be stuck for time on arrival and no possibility of charging at hers because she only has on street parking. It was also going to be after midnight when I did the return journey.

I drove carefully, took the 'Eco' route on the planner and didn't have the heating on other than very short occasional bursts to keep the screen clear so I could see. No amount of having the windows open seemed to achieve this. I arrived with 50% left in my batteries and supposedly 47 miles. Bearing in mind that I'd done 36 careful miles to get there I was slightly worried by this but figured there would be a charger fairly close somewhere, so we went off to our do in her car and I decided to search for a charger on returning. BIG mistake. I drove to the first location thinking I'd get a quick blast to find that I couldn't access the charger. Then I didn't want to trust that there was a charger at the Little Chef at Ripley on the A3 because I'd been told by someone at Polar that most of them have been removed. Locally to me this has been true. I had no decent internet signal on my phone to load any of the apps and the car sat nav didn't have the new chargers at Chobham on the M25 listed so I wasn't sure how far away they were or in what direction.

End result was I crawled home through some nightmarishly nasty lanes at 30mph or less with no heating, wiping the screen to see and getting in the way of every other road user who came up behind me wondering why the hell I was out driving at that time of night if I was scared to go faster than 30. I knew full well that if I ran out of battery I had no mobile signal whatsoever to get help. It was cold, foggy and raining and I was on my own. I can honestly say I hated the car and the lack of infrastructure to support it at that point. I was still 16 miles out when the low battery warning light came on and by the time I arrived home (thankfully) I had 7 miles left in the 'tank' and only 4% charge. Not to mention I was stiff and sore from the absolute terror of being stuck miles from anywhere with no phone signal and dead car.

Clearly I should have planned for a backup charger but surely 72 miles in a brand new Gen 2 Leaf should be possible under those circumstances? I started with the Guessometer saying 95 so it's not like I'm driving like a bat out of hell or anything. I guess another question is where are the Guildford chargers? I've looked again since getting home and there really doesn't seem to be anything available between me near Worthing and my friend at Guildford :(

On the plus side though the car decided it had a range of 109 miles after a full charge the next morning! Yeah right!
Just to confirm, do you have an Visia, Acenta or Tekna?
Also that you were charged to 100% when you set off?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
588 Posts
Just to confirm, do you have an Visia, Acenta or Tekna?
Also that you were charged to 100% when you set off?
Details of the car are in the signature:

"Nissan Leaf Tekna with 6.6 charger and solar panel spoiler in gunmetal grey picked up 20/9/14 "
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just to confirm, do you have an Visia, Acenta or Tekna?
Also that you were charged to 100% when you set off?

It's a Tekna and had 100% charge when I left. Showing 95 miles on the guessometer. I think the temperature was around 10 degrees when I looked.

It was a really miserable experience and now means that Evie is plugged in every single time she's on the drive, whether I need the miles or not :(

Would have expected a big city like Guildford to have had some kind of charging available, even late at night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,736 Posts
It's a Tekna and had 100% charge when I left. Showing 95 miles on the guessometer. I think the temperature was around 10 degrees when I looked.

It was a really miserable experience and now means that Evie is plugged in every single time she's on the drive, whether I need the miles or not :(

Would have expected a big city like Guildford to have had some kind of charging available, even late at night.
Sorry - just saw your sig ! I would have expected the car to do 72 miles fairly easily at 10 C though. Is the terran very hilly?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry - just saw your sig ! I would have expected the car to do 72 miles fairly easily at 10 C though. Is the terran very hilly?
That was what I thought. It is hilly but since I was driving carefully I'd somewhat expected the down hill recharge to cancel out the uphill drag a little bit. It wasn't even constant rain, just fog and drizzle. The thought of any kind of diversion left me really worried too. I'd have been stuffed.
 

·
Registered
Leaf 40
Joined
·
866 Posts
Very few towns have any form of charging still. I'm afraid that journey was a little optimistic and not one I'd have attempted without planning a charge at or near the destination.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,249 Posts
The estimated range after a charge bears very little relationship to the range you will actually get. Basically it is pretty much useless for determining your range.

Use the battery percentage and estimate it yourself using your expected miles/kWh estimate. I use 3.5 miles/kWh... some people reckon they get 4 miles or more but I have found that if I estimate it at 3.5 miles then I always err on the safe side and it allows for the odd hill etc.

So for me... 3.5 miles/kWh and 21kWh gives me a full charge estimated range of 70 miles and that is about what you found :) and with a 50% remaining before setting out for home that is down to just 35 miles as you found out.

I would reserve damning the car for the moment. Remember, the Leaf is best when used for local trips... those everyday trips and commutes that we all do and that makes up at least 80% of all the journeys we all make. What you did there... running to the max of range, without a charging option, late at night, bad weather... was always never likely to end well and I would just put it down to a learning experience.

Use and enjoy the car for what it is best at, trips well within the likely range (say 70 miles) until you gain some experience, get to know local charging options etc.

Would have expected a big city like Guildford to have had some kind of charging available, even late at night.
There are very few places in the UK where there is enough public charging so that you don't have to plan in advance. Milton Keynes, London, Newcastle are 3 that spring to mind but pretty much everywhere else you really must plan before leaving home. This will likely be the case for many years to come I expect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,904 Posts
Thanks for sharing and glad you got home safely. Convinces me that I'm not ready for a BEV, or should I say, the infrastructure's not ready...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lee Dalton

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
You know what they say... Proper Planning Prevent P!ss Poor Performance...

Firstly, if you're going somewhere new, always carry the 3 pin plug charger and a decent extension lead.
Knowing you were half empty, a one hour charge outside your mates house would have fixed all the terror.
Even if you and your mate had to stand there with coats on drinking coffee so no one tripped over the cable (or just use a rubber door mat to cover the cable).

Secondly, the downhills *NEVER* cancel out the uphills. Hilly terrain is a battery killer... It's just physics.

Thirdly, for all new destinations, check the Electric Highway/ZapMap/OpenChargeMap - know the local chargers beforehand. Drop a message on this forum or Twitter to see if anyone knows if a specific chargers are working.

Fourthly, you realise the nickname for the Range Meter is the "G-O-M" or Guess-O-Meter? There's a reason for that... :)

Sadly most towns/cities have minimal charging infrastructure, it's a fact of life. You have to stick to the motorways for Ecotricitys Rapid charger network to cover big distances...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for sharing and glad you got home safely. Convinces me that I'm not ready for a BEV, or should I say, the infrastructure's not ready...

That's the thing Brooktop, I do absolutely love the car but the infrastructure and the misinformation provided by Nissan's in car navigation is horrendous. Somewhat strangely we do seem to have lots of charging options locally for EVs so I really hadn't expected it to be so much of a problem. There's something like at least 5 fast chargers accessible all the time within about 10 miles and one rapid if you are there in opening hours.
 

·
Registered
Leaf 40
Joined
·
866 Posts
Current BEV's are fine, within the limitations of their intended use, that is local trips. I wouldn't set out on a 70 mile trip without some pre-planning to make sure there was charging en route or at the destination. But it's easy to see how this can happen with dealers over selling the capabilities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You know what they say... Proper Planning Prevent P!ss Poor Performance...

Firstly, if you're going somewhere new, always carry the 3 pin plug charger and a decent extension lead.
Knowing you were half empty, a one hour charge outside your mates house would have fixed all the terror.
Even if you and your mate had to stand there with coats on drinking coffee so no one tripped over the cable (or just use a rubber door mat to cover the cable).

Secondly, the downhills *NEVER* cancel out the uphills. Hilly terrain is a battery killer... It's just physics.

Thirdly, for all new destinations, check the Electric Highway/ZapMap/OpenChargeMap - know the local chargers beforehand. Drop a message on this forum or Twitter to see if anyone knows if a specific chargers are working.

Fourthly, you realise the nickname for the Range Meter is the "G-O-M" or Guess-O-Meter? There's a reason for that... :)

Sadly most towns/cities have minimal charging infrastructure, it's a fact of life. You have to stick to the motorways for Ecotricitys Rapid charger network to cover big distances...

I totally agree Leave, but sadly when I said no way I could charge at hers it's because the onstreet parking is too far away from her block of flats. Even with the extension lead and EVSE which I've got permanently in the boot, there's no way we could have done it unless we had 2 extension leads and I'd have worried that wouldn't have been safe.

I'd allowed for it being a guessometer but obviously not enough. lesson learned the hard way :(
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,478 Posts
In all honesty I wouldn't even consider trying a 73 mile trip in my Leaf, unless there was slow charging with a stop in the middle or a rapid charger somewhere before the 50 mile mark. It just can't do it if you're travelling over 60mph OR there's rain, OR it's cold, OR there's a hill involved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
In all honesty I wouldn't even consider trying a 73 mile trip in my Leaf, unless there was slow charging with a stop in the middle or a rapid charger somewhere before the 50 mile mark. It just can't do it if you're travelling over 60mph OR there's rain, OR it's cold, OR there's a hill involved.

Or even at a max of 40 mph one way and 30 the other with little hills in the way, drizzle and 10 degrees :(
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,478 Posts
Or even at a max of 40 mph one way and 30 the other with little hills in the way, drizzle and 10 degrees :(
Yup... This is why I find it so frustrating when people boast about how easy it is to go 100 miles in a Leaf.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
place is 36 miles from mine, according to the sat nav so I thought I'd be able to do it without charging. I was going to be stuck for time on arrival and no possibility of charging at hers because she only has on street parking. It was also going to be after midnight when I did the return journey...
I was slightly worried by this but figured there would be a charger fairly close somewhere, so we went off to our do in her car and I decided to search for a charger on returning. BIG mistake. .
It was cold, foggy and raining and I was on my own. I can honestly say I hated (...) the lack of infrastructure at that point. I was still 16 miles out when the low battery warning light came on and by the time I arrived home (thankfully) I had 7 miles left in the 'tank' and only 4% charge...
Most of us (?) have had one experience like that, but only one! You did well: 36*2+7 = 79 miles in dark, cold, rainy, foggy conditions is just about the maximum possible, even for a new Gen-2 Leaf. Always allow time for a quick en-route rapid top-up (~20 minutes) on the outbound trip and have the post codes for 2 or 3 rapid chargers on a piece of paper in your pocket... However, you're right about the B2133 - that's an appallingly bad road even in daytime! And Guildford (where I used to live) still has no sensible option for charging, even now!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Most of us (?) have had one experience like that, but only one! You did well: 36*2+7 = 79 miles in dark, cold, rainy, foggy conditions is just about the maximum possible, even for a new Gen-2 Leaf. Always allow time for a quick en-route rapid top-up (~20 minutes) on the outbound trip and have the post codes for 2 or 3 rapid chargers on a piece of paper in your pocket... However, you're right about the B2133 - that's an appallingly bad road even in daytime! And Guildford (where I used to live) still has no sensible option for charging, even now!

That's just it Sparky, no rapids anywhere to pick up a charge from. I've done North Kent to West Sussex with less hassle than this trip was. I suppose I need to stop thinking that 36 miles is just up the road! I can't imagine that the Nissan garage in Guildford sells many Leafs!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kevin Sharpe
1 - 20 of 83 Posts
Top